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"Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, BuxWV 220"
Dietrich Buxtehude

Dieterich Buxtehude (c. 1637 - 9 May 1707) was a German-Danish organist and a highly regarded composer of the Baroque period. His organ works comprise a central part of the standard organ repertoire and are frequently performed at recitals and church services. He wrote in a wide variety of vocal and instrumental idioms, and his style strongly influenced many composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach. Buxtehude, along with Heinrich Schutz, is considered today to be one the most important German composers of the mid-Baroque.

He was an organist, first in Helsingborg (1657-1658), then at Elsinore (Helsingĝr) (1660-1668), and last from 1668 at the Marienkirche in Lubeck, where he succeeded Franz Tunder and married Tunder's daughter Anna Margarethe (1668). His post in the free Imperial city of Lubeck afforded him considerable latitude in his musical career and his autonomy was a model for the careers of later Baroque masters such as George Frideric Handel, Johann Mattheson, Georg Philipp Telemann and Johann Sebastian Bach. In 1673 he reorganized a series of evening musical performances, initiated by Tunder, known as Abendmusik, which attracted musicians from diverse parts and remained a feature of the church until 1810.

In 1703, Handel and Mattheson both traveled to meet Buxtehude. Buxtehude was old, and ready to retire, by the time he met them. He offered his position in Lubeck to Handel and Mattheson but stipulated that the organist who ascended to it must marry his eldest daughter, Anna Margareta. Both Handel and Mattheson turned the offer down and left the day after their arrival. In 1705, J.S. Bach, then a young man twenty years old, walked from Arnstadt to Lübeck, a distance of more than 400 kilometers (250 US miles), and stayed nearly three months to hear the Abendmusik, meet the pre-eminent Lubeck organist, hear him play, and as Bach explained "to comprehend one thing and another about his art."

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recorded via sequenced MIDI file via computer on the Reuter opus #822 pipe organ, November 14, 2009

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